By: Vincent Gunde
The NGO Gender Coordination Network( NGO GCN) and the Malawi Human Rights Resources Center( MHRRC), will implement a,50: 50 campaign project in Dowa and Ntchisi.
The project called Capacity Enhancement and addressing negative social norms to increase women’s representation in the 2019 tripartite elections will run for a period of 10 months( September, 2018_ June, 2019.
Under the project, the key target groups will include women and young women aspirants, community gate keepers ( traditional and faith leaders), community members and political party structures.
Speaking during a District executive council committee meeting held at the Dowa boma, MHRRCs project officer, Chimwemwe Sakunda, said the project is solely targeting constituencies and wards with female aspirants or candidates in the two districts of Dowa and Ntchisi.
” We will only concentrate in constituences and wards with female representations and not in all constituences “, she said.
Sakunda said the project has a goal of contributing towards improved representation of women in political leadership at national and local levels through the 2019 tripartite elections.
She said several activities have been lined up to meet the project objectives some of which are ; conducting joint community civic and voter campaigns in the targeted districts inorder to mobilise support to the women candidates and holding engagement meetings with traditional leaders to assess the strength of female candidates and lobby for their support.
The officer said the project will also monitor primary elections and electoral activities during the campaign in the constituencies and wards where women are contesting.
She said the project in its implementation focus activities will be engaging the district multi party liason committees lobbying for their support in ensuring that women aspiring manifestoes are met by the general citizenry who are the major beneficiary of this project.
In his remarks, District Commissioner for Dowa, Alex Mdooko, expressed fears that the project will not meet its intended outcomes citing time is against the women aspirants, some women had already lost in the primary elections and convincing the electorate to vote for a woman will also be a great challenge.
Mdooko advised organisations campaigning for 50: 50 representation to start selling female aspirants soon after the elections so that people in the constituences and wards are used to see them other than coming this time when there are elections fever.
The 50:50 campaign project will be implemented in the two districts of Dowa and Ntchisi particularly in constituences and wards with female candidates with funds from Tilitonse amounting to Mwk 20, 000,000.00 million.